NEWS WORTH NOTING: The Freshwater Trust helps develop program to offset phosphorus and improve habitat in NorCal; DWR announces Water-Energy Grants; Lake Davis Fills as anticipated, spillway outflows begin

The Freshwater Trust Helps Develop Program to Offset Phosphorus and Improve Habitat in Northern California Wetland

From the Freshwater Trust:

The Freshwater Trust (TFT) is working with the Northern California City of Santa Rosa to develop a program to reduce phosphorus and improve habitat quality in the Laguna de Santa Rosa.

While home to a number of threatened and endangered plant and animal species, and used for agriculture and recreation, the Laguna’s 14-mile wetland complex has been listed as impaired under the Clean Water Act. Sediment, phosphorus, mercury, bacteria, lack of oxygen and high temperatures are contributing factors.

TFT is working with the city’s water department, Santa Rosa Water, to enhance its regulatory approved “Nutrient Offset Program” by developing ways to quantify the impacts of restoration both in the Laguna and in upstream waterways. Installing vegetation buffers, removing invasive species, and reshaping and stabilizing stream channels can reduce phosphorus and nitrogen from entering the largest wetland in the region.

“Restoration has a powerful and proven ability to improve water quality,” said Alex Johnson, freshwater solutions director with TFT. “In fact, natural infrastructure can be just as viable a tool as engineered alternatives to address some of the issues the Laguna is currently facing.”

Click here to continue reading from the Freshwater Trust.

DWR Announces Water-Energy Grants

Projects to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Increase Efficiency

From the Department of Water Resources:

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced nearly $18 million in grants to support agencies and organizations with projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve water and energy use efficiency. The awards will fund proposals under the 2016 Water-Energy Grant Program.

Fourteen organizations were awarded grants totaling $17,721,805. The smallest grant is $28,445 to the Long Beach Water Department for installation of efficient pre-rinse spray valves and faucet aerators for commercial food service locations. The largest awards are two $3 million grants to Proteus, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides education, job training and other support services to farm families and other program participants. Proteus will provide installation of ultra-efficient showerheads, faucet aerators and high-efficiency clothes washers to help residents within disadvantaged communities in Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties.

The awardees and their projects can be found at the 2016 Water–Energy Grant Program website.

The Water-Energy Grant Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

The cap-and-trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investment projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling and more. At least 35 percent of these investments are made in disadvantaged and low-income communities. For more information, visit California Climate Investments.

Lake Davis Fills as Anticipated, Spillway Outflows Begin

Releases Could Result in Above-Normal Stream Flows

From the Department of Water Resources:

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) said today boaters, anglers and residents downstream from Lake Davis in the Feather River watershed should be prepared for increased water flows and higher stream levels due to overflows from the Grizzly Valley Dam’s spillway.  Water began flowing into the spillway March 21 for the first time in nearly 21 years.

The Grizzly Valley Dam spillway releases water from Lake Davis into Big Grizzly Creek and then to the Middle Fork Feather River. While DWR does not anticipate problems downstream of the reservoir near Portola, flows below the lake could exceed what residents, businesses and anglers have experienced over the past three decades. DWR in recent years has maintained lower Big Grizzly Creek flows between 10 and 200 cubic feet per second (cfs), but with the uncontrolled flows over the dam’s spillway, flows could increase substantially. Until this week, the reservoir had not reached its full elevation and capacity since May 20, 1996, when less than half an inch of water rose above the spillway.

DWR lowered Lake Davis in the 1990s to prevent storms from spilling invasive northern pike into downstream waterways. Out of an abundance of caution to protect native fish species, DWR has kept the reservoir level well below the dam’s rim. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has seen no indication of northern pike inhabiting the lake since eradication efforts took place in 2007. In December 2016, DWR notified water users that it intended to resume normal operations at the lake and allow the reservoir to fill.

Rainfall this winter in northern California has been approximately twice the historical average.

Lake Davis is part of DWR’s Upper Feather River Project within Plumas National Forest. In addition to water supply, the 84,000 acre-foot reservoir provides recreational camping, fishing, picnicking and boating. The reservoir is created by Grizzly Valley Dam on Big Grizzly Creek, a tributary of the Middle Fork Feather River.

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About News Worth Noting:  News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.  News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms.  If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.

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